SF-50 Document Now Critical to Set Up Base Access During Retirement

July 20, 2023

With DoD no longer issuing Civilian Retiree ID cards or allowing previously issued cards to be used for base access, the employee SF-50 document is critical for setting up base access Overseas and Stateside. Additionally, REAL IDs cannot be used for enrolling in access at Overseas bases, so former and current employees should see what IDs their local base accepts.

Retiring Employees

“Educators and ESPs should try to get a copy of their SF-50 as they retire. If you are retiring and your retirement date comes after your final day at school this year, please talk with your school secretary and ask to leave an addressed envelope and ask the secretary to mail you your retirement SF-50.  If the secretary cannot do that, ask for additional options. Be sure to keep that SF-50 and all records pertaining to your pay and benefits permanently in case you ever need them in the future to disprove an incorrect debt allegation or other false claim made against you. Online access to those records by the employee usually ends within a year of their being issued, so you should keep copies of everything yourself as a precaution. FEA provides folders for all members at the start of each school so you can keep those records together.”

Former Employees

If you are already retired but don’t have your SF-50, it’s not too late to get it. This DoDEA website page has guide on how to request your SF-50 from the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC). Note that the NPRC cannot email documents, so you must include a mailing address or fax number. Also, the NPRC requires a signature, so if you are emailing your request, you can sign a blank sheet of paper, take a picture, and upload that picture to your email. See the DoDEA page for more information.

Stateside v. Overseas Access

For all installation and MWR activity, access was and continues to be extended to all DoD Civilian Retirees at the discretion of and as authorized by the installation commander. However, DoDEA has informed FEA that a REAL ID may be used as proof of identification to enroll individuals in the U.S., its territories, and D.C., but for Overseas bases IDs are not limited to the Real ID drivers’ license – access requirements are at the discretion of the local commander. See the message from DoDEA below:

“For the United States, U.S. Territories and the District of Columbia, a REAL ID ACT compliant ID or Driver’s License, and the individual’s retirement SF-50 Notification of Personnel Action (or other official DoD agency civilian employee retirement document), may be used to enroll the individual’s REAL ID Act-compliant ID or driver’s license for future use.  Enrollment is required at the installation Visitor Control Center upon an initial visit to an installation and may be required to be periodically (annually) renewed.  Enrollment at one installation does not convey to another installation, as extension of these privileges is at the individual installation commander’s discretion.

For Overseas, the individual’s retirement SF-50 Notification of Personnel Action (or other official DoD agency civilian employee retirement document) is required for enrollment, but there is no single universal ID document requirement, as REAL ID Act compliant IDs are not applicable, and installation access requirements are at the discretion of the local installation commander.”

Overseas retirees and employees should check what ID is accepted at their local base for retiree access.